19 October 2018
An ex-police worker who used an online chatroom to view indecent images of children has been found guilty following a trial at Reading Crown Court.
National Crime Agency officers arrested David Gunn, 55, on 9 June 2016 on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.
Investigators discovered Gunn’s online persona ‘smokepig’ was present in an online chatroom on 22 June 2015 where pre-recorded child sexual abuse was being streamed.
Further forensic examinations of his electronic devices showed he accessed the same chatroom in August 2015 and invited other users to watch him abuse his – fictional – eight-year-old nephew.
Gunn, of Bull Street, Stratford Upon Avon and formerly of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, claimed he did this to trap other users and report them to the police.
However, Gunn, who worked at a front enquiry office for Thames Valley Police, did not take notes of this activity, or report anything to law enforcement.
A jury unanimously convicted him of five counts of making indecent images of children.
Graham Ellis, NCA operations manager said: “Gunn was logged into the online chatroom at the time the pre-recorded images were being streamed, showing his interest in viewing such images.
“He claimed he invented an eight-year-old to trap other online users in the same chat-room, but didn’t provide us with any evidence this was his plan, and didn’t subsequently report it to police.
“With the rise of digital technology, sharing images and moving footage has never been easier, whether that be on the dark web, or on more conventional social media websites.
“Offenders think they won’t be found. They are wrong.
“The NCA and our law enforcement partners are committed to tackling the threat posed by offenders like Gunn, and will bring them to justice.”
The Lucy Faithfull Foundation runs the Stop It Now! helpline which offers confidential advice to anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s behaviour towards children.